Brian Moses

Image by Caroline Forbes

Brian Moses

b. 1950

An idea is like a knock on the door. Ignore the knocking and whoever it is goes away. - Brian Moses

About Brian Moses

Brian Moses (b. 1950) is one of Britain's favourite children's poets, for both his own poetry and the anthologies he has edited, and he has performed in over two thousand schools across the UK and Europe. He is a Reading Champion for the Literacy Trust, and is able to animate reading and writing poetry for pupils and teachers alike, in his workshops and in his resource books for teachers.

His interests range from the familiar - shopping trolleys, football matches - to the peculiar - monsters, aliens, angels. Often he will mix the two together, so the 'Shopping Trolley' is souped-up like a futuristic sports car, while the monsters still go to school before coming home on 'The Ghoul School Bus'. He has a particularly sharp eye for those parts of life that sound like surrealism but are taken from life - the man in 'Walking with my Iguana', who walks his pet lizard on Hastings beach on a leash, is based on a real person.

He says that he began writing poems when he realised he would never be a rock star - "I put the guitar to one side, but the songs carried on and became poems". That original musical influence can still be heard on this recording; while he rarely sings, he performs so that pauses, tone of voice and speed become a central part of the poem. Few poets can hold a syllable so well as Moses, whether it's the hiss in 'The Ssssnake Hotel' or the Tom Waits growl in 'Walking with my Iguana'. David Roberts' music accompanies several of the poems, in styles from a rap backbeat to a folky guitar; others are unaccompanied, but Moses' reading style still stays musical, and an essential part of the poem. His poetry is at its best in performance, and this recording catches him at his most essential.

Original music & arrangements: David Roberts

His recording was made on 16 May 2003 at The Audio Workshop, London and was produced by Anne Rosenfeld.

Brian Moses's Favourite Poetry Sayings:

"If you want to be a writer, write." - Brian Moses

"Just look at it, touch it, smell it, listen to it, turn yourself into it. When you do this, the words look after themselves, like magic." - Ted Hughes, from Poetry in the Making

Interviews and other readings

Brian Moses Interview

Brian Moses set out to be a rock star. . .and became a poet instead!...

Additional material and useful links

Brian Moses - blog

Ideas for getting children writing on Brian Moses's blog.

Selected bibliography

Greetings Earthlings!: Space Poems (Macmillan, 2007)

Behind the Staffroom Door: The Very Best of Brian Moses...

Walking with my Iguana, Hachette 2009


There's a Hamster in the Fast Lane!, Pan Macmillan 2008


The Sun is a Cupcake, Hachette 2008


Budgie likes to Boogie, Caboodle Books 2009


Great Galactic Ghoul, Caboodle Books 2009


Greetings, Earthlings, Pan Macmillan 2009


Rhyming Dictionary (editor), Collins Educational 2000


Buy album £0.00

1Shopping Trolley

2Cup Final Day 1961


4The Bonfire at Barton Point

5The Ssssnake Hotel

6The Ghoul School Bus

7Bouncing Babies

8Lost Magic

9Billy's Coming Back

10What Teachers Wear In Bed

11A Feather from an Angel

12Aliens Stole My Underpants

13Dragons' Wood

14At the Zoo

15Ghost Train


17The Lost Angels

18America's Gate

19The Weirdest Exhibit

20The Fear

21Graffiti Boy

22Monster Crazy

23The I-Spy Book of Teachers

24Seagulls with Everything

25If I Were a Shape

26Walking with my Iguana

27Giant's Eye View

28Croc City

Books by Brian Moses